Student Learning

The University provides the opportunity for transformative student learning through outstanding teaching and research, enriched educational experiences, and rewarding campus life.

Learn as if you were to live forever.
Mahatma Gandhi

University Centre building at UBCO building and UBC researchers and students
The heart of The University of British Columbia lies in its people—students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community—and our outstanding learning environment is the outcome of our relationships with one another.

Learning takes place within the social and emotional context of each student’s life. Applying new research on education, UBC revolutionizes teaching practices in the classroom and expands learning opportunities outside of it: through community service learning, research and co-op experiences, internships and mentorships, international opportunities, and participation in a rewarding campus life.

Through rigorous study within and across disciplines, students acquire the knowledge, inquiry and communication skills, professional abilities, and understanding of other cultures that enhance their personal development and enable them to contribute and lead in a global society.

Transformative learning inspires students to flourish in their studies and stay connected with UBC as alumni. Together, faculty, staff, and students share the responsibility for bringing learning to life.

Goal Enhance the quality and impact of teaching for all students

Portfolio Action

Review and revise curricula and pedagogy to ensure that they are informed by leading edge research on how people learn

  • Faculties, with support from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, and the Strategic Decision Support Group, actively engage in curricula renewal to provide an effective and efficient student learning environment (VPA, DVC)
  • Build a more effective English language pathways program for incoming international students (VPA, DVC)
  • Support graduate student success by launching the Life Cycle Management project (VPA, DVC)

Simplify and streamline program requirements and course prerequisites whenever possible to enhance flexibility and self-directed learning

  • Complete the external review of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (Vancouver) and implement recommendations as appropriate (VPA)
  • As part of the curriculum re-design process, Faculties review program requirements and course pre-requisites to ensure greatest flexibility to students while maintaining the integrity of academic programs (VPA, DVC)
  • Complete implementation of the new Learning Management System (VPA)

Improve feedback mechanisms on teaching and learning through peer reviews and teaching evaluations

  • Expand the number of Faculties using evidence based peer review processes with support from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (VPA, DVC)

Further align the University rewards and recognition systems with student learning goals

  • Implement the Professor of Teaching rank
  • Continue the Okanagan Provost Award for Teaching Excellence and Provost Award for Teaching Assistants and Tutors (DVC)
  • Encourage and facilitate nomination of faculty members for national and international teaching awards (VPA, DVC, VPRI)
  • Allocate funds to Okanagan Deans Scholarships for incoming graduate students (DVC)

Develop and implement benchmarks and key metrics related to the enhancement of teaching and learning, and as part of the periodic academic reviews

  • Refocus Planning and Institutional Research (PAIR), to provide support for Faculties and units in academic planning and evaluation (VPA)

Goal Strengthen efforts to promote student success

Portfolio Action

Develop and implement initiatives that support student engagement and achievement

  • Implement Broad Based Admissions in all Vancouver faculties by 2013 and in Okanagan faculties by 2014 (VPA, VPS)
  • Implement “Names Not Numbers” program with Enrolment Services Specialists (VPA, VPS)
  • Expand and strengthen the Jumpstart program (VPA, VPS)
  • Improve career services for graduate students (VPS)
  • Establish English language/ Foundations Program at the Okanagan Campus (pilot completed by May 2012); increase English language supports at the Vancouver Campus (DVC)

Review and improve advising functions at UBC

  • Focus on student recruitment and admission using Learning Plan, Broad Based Admissions and the new student-centred service model (VPA, VPS)
  • Expand the international student transition program to provide a full year of academic support for new ISI students and measure the impact over the next 3 years (VPS)
  • Review and enhance the current academic support services, including academic language support (VPS, VPA, DVC)
  • Improve student advising practices university wide in partnership with academic departments (VPS, VPA, DVC)
  • Launch online system to efficiently facilitate accommodated exams for students with disabilities (VPS, VPA, DVC)

Goal Expand educational enrichment opportunities, including research, a first year small class experience, international learning, community service learning, and co-op/practicum/ internship opportunities

Portfolio Action

Provide undergraduate students with opportunities to pursue at least two enriched educational experiences during their course of studies

  • Review all student financial aid and award programs (VPS, VPFRO)
  • Implement the plan to improve the understanding, delivery and assessment of enriched educational experiences (VPA, DVC, VPS)

Goal Support student well-being, personal development and outstanding campus life

Portfolio Action

Continue the expansion of informal learning space and on-campus work opportunities, and implement Collegia locations for students who commute

  • Assess effectiveness of The Collegia Program and work study program at the Okanagan campus (DVC)
  • Implement up to 9 Collegia locations at the Vancouver Campus by 2016 or sooner (VPS)
  • Increase informal student spaces by 15% at the Okanagan Campus (DVC)

Implement a coordinated strategy for communication with students

  • Develop a coordinated application, acceptance, payment and communications plan for students living in residence (VPS)
  • Completely overhaul and re-launch with improved functionality and service to students (VPS)
  • Foster improved community standards through the implementation of a transparent student code of non-academic misconduct and judicial process (VPS, VPCCP, DVC)
  • Implement Athletics and Recreation Review recommendations with particular attention to improving access and programming for all students, and better serving varsity, high performance student-athletes (VPS)

Support student-led initiatives to create a campus culture of involvement

  • Continue First Year Experience Program in the Okanagan and expand on the success of collaborative student projects (DVC)
  • Further enhance leadership and involvement opportunities for students through mentoring and engagement at the Centre for Student Involvement and the Global Lounge (VPS)
  • Review all central funding sources for student led initiatives. Redesign the application process, decision making structure and communication to improve access, equity and ease (VPS)

Increase support for student health and wellbeing, with a specific focus on mental health

  • Create a campus wide steering committee (Vancouver) to guide implementation of a health and wellbeing strategy (VPS)
  • Launch an Early Alert system to support student wellbeing and academic success (VPS)
  • Significantly enhance the communication, effectiveness and partnership of all sites of student advising across campus to provide effective guidance to students (VPS)
  • Build a Centre of Social Sustainability and Wellbeing in the old SUB on the Vancouver campus (VPS)

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